According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses. What’s more, Utah has been credited as the most pro-small business state in America, thanks to our state’s pro-business initiatives and support systems. Each month, the Salt Lake Chamber will highlight a small business in Utah to emphasize its importance in our economy and encourage local support.
For many businesses, transitioning to environmentally-conscious practices can seem overwhelming, pointless and costly. Utah PaperBox, on the other hand, has proved otherwise.
Utah PaperBox is a Salt Lake City-based small business that is committed to excellence in both eco-friendly initiatives and packaging solutions. When Steve Keyser became the fourth-generation President and CEO of the company, he knew that he could do even more.
“Being stewards of the community and our environment is a really important part of our company,” explained Madison Keyser, Steve’s daughter and Utah PaperBox HR Manager. “It’s one of our core values, and we use those values to guide us in all of our decision-making.”
The company has demonstrated its commitment to the environment in almost every aspect of their manufacturing process. For starters, their headquarters is LEED Gold Certified, a designation awarded to buildings that go above and beyond to ensure it is constructed and operated to the highest level of sustainability. That means solar panels outfit the roof, skylights replace the need for over 50 electric light features and special press cooling units save enough energy to power 70 homes.
Although those features weren’t cheap investments, they quickly paid off. Their solar array, which cost $100,000 to install in 2009, paid for itself in just four years. Now, solar accounts for 20% of Utah PaperBox’s power and saves the company money.
“I enjoy owning a small business because it allows us to be nimble and gives me the freedom to do what I want,” said Steve Keyser, who also sits on the board of Leaders for Clean Air. “We can make the best decisions for our customers, employees and environment quickly – I believe that is one of our keys to success.”
Another reason small and local businesses are important, Madison explained, is because being located in-state allows for quicker and more sustainable delivery.
“We were able to help a lot of people during a time when pandemic-era supply chain issues were hurting many local businesses,” Madison Keyser said. “More people wanted to buy products made in the U.S. because international shipping and supply chains proved difficult, and so being local and reputable ended up being a really good thing for us.”
Finally, the Keysers believe that small businesses play a key part in the entrepreneurial landscape. Many startups and new companies work with Utah PaperBox in the beginning stages of their businesses, where they work together to create packaging that lets the product shine.
“It’s so fun to watch our clients grow. For example, Crumbl, Nu Skin, and Sweet Candy Company,” Madison said. “It’s economically valuable and a cool experience to watch other small businesses in Utah be successful.”
Utah PaperBox’s mission is to strive for excellence in packaging from the beginning to the end of the manufacturing process. From their talented design and sales team to their experienced manufacturing and quality control team, Utah PaperBox works hard to give your product a great selling look. Click here to support their small business.